A Silent Weapon for a Quiet War

                                        To meet with darkness in the daytime is
                                                            a silent weapon for a quiet war.

          Morose where it glows,
hope’s fading spark
          throws through shadows
                    a length of light like a rope,

          choking smoke before
life’s undertow
          captures those whose
                    fates trace them a course to where

          two meet with darkness
in the daytime:
          one, a silent
                    weapon for a quiet war—

          the other? under
the weight of his
          silenced thoughts ink
                    drops scalding words, kicking to

          cold trickle what knots
of love land here,
          a single verse
                    curbs watch as tears like asphalt

          run across the lot,
vacant seas wail
          taunts, parking tossed
                    jettison where two tongues scorched

          earth down to its raw
surface, flushing
          from blush all its
                    innocence, filling up on

          gushing red like leech-
sucked blood (or come)
          or something life
                    dwells in, replicating its

          taste’s unrelenting
          to wash off, this
                    garden of agonies where

          few sons meet fortune—
failure’s rusting
          clots of these drops
                    sighing as fastidious

          fingers of summer’s
          funded breath walk
                    yellowed lines, stained sheets dropped, spread

          like albatross wings
over shipwrecked
          hearts, what losses
                    numbered tags identify,

          chalked paths marking off
the spot, sought out
          particles and
                    shells of shots aligned by size.

                                        Melancholy moves through a life as an
                                                            assassin does, dressed like a metaphor.

          No opportunity lost
to publicize
          budgeted lies,
                    no balls dropped, only

          fathers like flies, their fingers
printed and lives
          villainized, full
                    names headlined and bounced

          off courtroom walls, justice’s
blind eyes over-
          rolled as guilt calls
                    the gulls and vultures

          flock, new screws allured by news
crews, cock-eyed as
          they crow, bad lays
                    insistent to know:

          ‘is that the way your old man
went? fuck, what a
          way to go…’, forced
                    empathy frugal,

          futile attempts at any-
thing cordial fail
          those fools who feign
                    concern for concealed

          misery, those post-coital
courtesies like
          cute prenuptial
                    policies, terms drawn

          up by misers unwilling
to part with what
          they dare not tell—
                    silent weapons for

          a quiet war unfriendly
vets wager will
          finally end
                    this perpetual

          battle over the torture
of a soul, head
          and heart by hands
                    of belligerent

          hordes divided, conflicting
signs defiant,
          omens useless
                    in prophesying

          if this mind’s clouded chorus
of enemy
          forces shouting
                    curses will subside—

          or if madness might somehow
reunite us,
                    to pain its captives.